Then a brilliant thought occurred to me: what if she and I drove up a day or two early with the oldest two grandsons? Then their parents and the historian could join us, after we'd had this small adventure. All agreed to this splendid plan.
So this morning, my daughter and I scurried around: she cleaned out her rabbit's quarters. I wrapped a birthday gift for a soon-to-be seven-year-old who lives in Scotland. I packed, she went to buy rabbit food and mail the package. I gathered together a bunch of comestibles. We picked up one grandson. His mother affixed his car seat into our car; we stashed his little suitcase and plush puppy. We drove to the other grandson's house across the valley. Car seat, back pack, Spiderman action figure. A quick trip through the Wendy's drive-thru, then we were on our way.
The boys chatted back and forth to one another, occasionally exchanging toys (good sharing, boys!). We talked about where we were going and what we would do there. Along the way we pointed out horses, cows, farms, motorcycles, trucks, lakes (reservoirs), the huge sprinkler pipes in the fields. We stopped in Malad for a bathroom-and-snack break. In Ashton we bought some sundry groceries to add to the mountains of food in the trunk. In the grocery store, the boys made a break for it after hours in the car; we raced after their shrieks, collected them and had our only stern--brief--moment of the day.
When we arrived, I showed the boys how to turn the water to the cabin on. We took out the store of antique toys to play with. We ate dinner, we walked over to the park, we gave the swings a whirl. My daughter and I served as regulators of the teeter totter.
When it was time for bed, we took the boys upstairs. They hadn't slept all day, and they were both tired. With the smallest of protests, each nestled into his bed. The younger, Will, said, "I want my mom and dad." I told him that for tonight, it would be just us--his aunt, his grandma, his cousin, and himself--and in about a minute, his breath slowed, evened. Asleep with the plush puppy in his arms.